Letting go…and letting it be


As some of you may have read in past posts of mine my grandfather ( the father of my natural mother ) passed away this past July. I had mixed emotions when processing his death as he was a core stone in the decision to place me for adoption. Most of the stories I have heard about my grandfather were unpleasant, he ruled with an iron fist, what he said went, and there wasn’t much laughter between him and the children. My mother came from a very large family, and at the time of my surrender her twin sister was also pregnant, and the 8 children and 2 parents were living in a 3 bedroom house, times couldn’t have been easy. As its been reflected to me my grandfather came to my mother on my 3rd day of life, at the hospital and told her she’d be coming home without me, and that it was time to go, and she did. Taking me home wasn’t an option and the shame he placed upon her thereafter when she got home, has infuriated me for years. When my grandfather passed this past July, I didn’t cry.
I met him once, I remained very quiet, I was unwed and pregnant with my first child when we met ( fitting I know.) He seemed joyous, he seemed good spirited, he told me stories, all of the stories he’d want me to know about him, how he swam around the pier in a contest and won in our town, how he decapitated men in Vietnam and earned the nickname the head hunter, he told me story after story and I just listened. Before I left as I went in for a hug he told me how wise men always listen, and the stupid ones talk forever and then he laughed hysterically and I left.
I woke up early on the day of his funeral and dressed my three daughters. I was nervous. We bought new black dresses for the occasion the day before, and I may have barely slept an hour that night. Not because I was weeping his loss, but because I was seeing all of my family the next day. All of my cousins, aunts, uncles, family I’ve never met, I will be there as my mothers daughter…I’m there known as her daughter. Me, her daughter, being recognized as her daughter. I didn’t have to stand in the back like the fly on the window, in fact I was reserved a seat in the front FOR THE FAMILY of my grandfather. A whole row for my daughters and myself.
We got there and again my step father was waiting outside for us, my mother inside making sure all of the ribbons were fluffed, the flowers were perfect and every last detail was how she wanted. My mother devoted her life to him in his final years and wanted and ensured that every detail to the direction of the Ukulele was perfected. We went in, and there was my family… they hugged and embraced me, they kissed my children and told us how much they missed us. Let me just repeated that part for the sake of my adopted soul wanting to hear it again….they hugged, embraced and kissed my children and me, and told us how much they missed us. Music to my adopted heart and of course my tears gushed from my eyeballs.
We went into the room, upfront was this table that held pictures and items from his life deemed most important by my mother. A picture of him in the military, he was a US Maine whom received 2 purple hearts which lay over his picture. A ukulele in front with leis, a younger picture of him, and one of him near his age just before he’d passed. My aunts, uncles and his friends spoke to him and us about his life and impact on them, I learned so much about my grandfather that day, my favorite part was a short film my mother put together with the help of a local amateur film student ( who ended up being an adoptee from Korea.)  Not only were there pictures of my children and myself, but I saw my grandfathers life. He was so strong, he was so courageous, he actually got sent home from Vietnam in a Body bag, he was presumed dead, and only discovered to be alive after two days in the bag on a ship headed home with a death note. This man, was a hero. Suddenly this transformation in my thoughts and feelings towards him shifted and I couldn’t stop crying and grieving this lifetime we missed. He’s like the top of this pyramid of children, and family that all came from him, and here all I’d had for him was resentment and lack of compassion due to thinking he was the sole reason I was left behind and all I saw of him before me on this day at his funeral was how much he did for the lives of his children and how everything he did was to better their lives.
I think I cried all of my resentment away that afternoon. By the time we arrived to the after party where his sisters and family were singing old traditional Hawaiian songs with spoons and ukulele, dancing together and celebrating life I was home. My kids running around with their cousins laughing and playing card games. Eating, drinking, dancing in every corner we looked at, it was one of the most beautiful days of my life. I have never felt complete on the level I do now and have since that day. I don’t resent him anymore. I don’t know how or exactly when it happened but it’s just gone, gone. It happened. I was let go. It hurt me, he was a pivotal factor in letting me go, but he was amazing. I forgive him.

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Mothers Day


Mothers day…. I dislike this day a ton. In my own family ( I have 3 daughters ) I feel like mothers day should be everyday! And my daughters ( the ones who can talk beyond babbling 😛 ) are really good at appreciating me and each other. They do tell me they love and appreciate me on a daily basis and I feel so fortunate that I have such amazing kids.

I remember when I was pregnant with my first daughter, I was at my amothers house on mothers day and was cooking her dinner and my daughters father gave ME a mothers day card. We didn’t have any born children yet, but in 4 months I was due with our first. My amom laughed and quickly silenced my enjoyment telling me it WASN’T my first mothers day, motherhood came from parenting your child, not merely growing one in your belly…I’ll never forget that laugh. It was so dismissive. It took every bit of joy I had in me and just killed it. We ended up arguing about it right there at the table.

“Carrying a baby is no easy task!” I shouted, “and I’ll have you know that the baby grows more in utero then any other time in his/her life! and she’s doing it INSIDE OF ME!” I continued “Its no easy task, everything about me is different and I’m sacrificing everything for her LIFE!!!”

Shortly after I got up and walked out.

My daughter was born a healthy 7lbs even and 21 inches long at 1:29 am that September.  I held her and stared at her all night. counted and recounted her toes, sang her happy birthday as the sun came up, never fell asleep, I just gazed at her for hours. The nurses would come in and try to take her to the nursery ( what a joke )so I could rest but soon they realized the closer they came my guard dog like traits would soon show their teeth and after the 2nd day they backed off quite a bit.

The following mothers day, I was two months pregnant with my second child. Nobody knew except their father and me. Silly me I thought telling my amom the great news on mothers day would be a wonderful surprise. I was in her garage, we were walking in from just getting home and as I walked in behind her I told her I had some really great news…we’re having another baby!!!!!!!! Her face went blank. She walked out of the room and went upstairs…I followed. First words out of her mouth….”you don’t even have a savings account. You need to be looking into abortion, or giving it to a family who deserves a baby…”

I look back on that moment now and I can see this wasn’t my mother, this was miss-counseled infertility pain and brainwashing by the adoption industry. In the moment tho…those were fighting words. I passed my daughter to her father and asked him to go buckle her in the car seat. We were leaving. He did. I stayed upstairs. I informed her that if she ever suggested I give my child away to adoption, let alone kill it in an abortion clinic I would never speak to her again, and at this time I didn’t know when I could stomach speaking to her ever. I left. We didn’t talk for the remainder of my pregnancy.

After my daughter was born at 9:19 pm at the birthing center, I called her around 11pm. Told her she was born, a healthy 8.5 pounds, 20 inches long, and beautiful and I hung up.

I was so mad at my amother for years for what she did to me on those two mothers days. BTW she doesn’t remember either of them, has 0 recollection of them at all. I’ve tried to go back and get some resolution on them and in her mind those days do not exist. I can’t explain it but its like she completely wiped them from her memory. I was SO MAD at her for months, it was eating me alive…how my own mother could suggest I surrender a child when at that time she damn well knew how much I hated adoption, and then suggest I have an abortion…that hurt more then I can even put into words. Its easier when a stranger suggests it to you, but my mother… bleh.

My two daughters are now 7 and 8. I’d like to say I’m more mature, but maybe they’ve just taught me patience with or without my consent. lol. I feel like I can step out of the OMFG YOU JUST TOLD ME TO SURRENDER MY DAUGHTER TO ADOPTION I BAN YOU TO HELL FOR LIFE mode, and enter the…OMFG THE INDUSTRY REALLY BRAINWASHED YOU TOO mode.  That wasn’t my mother speaking to me, that was the lies she was told by the industry and bought because it felt so good to hear. Idk what it feels like to not be able to have children of your own, being told you deserve them must be sort of soothing. I can’t imagine what it feels like, I can try to, and I have but I’ve never been and will never be there. I am done having kids. I have my 3 that I wanted and I didn’t even have to “try” for them, it’s a joke in my family that my partners pee and I get pregnant… *rolls eyes* I’m not typing that to wave my fertility in anyone’s face, I’m just shouting out clearly I have never been there. To pretend to know what it feels like would only be an insult to people who walk in those shoes. I’m sure mothers day, for a women who’s been trying to have children for years and can’t…isn’t very fun either. Nor is it fun for the mother who lost her child to adoption, … see how it comes full circle. Fuck this day.

So what am I going to do to get passed all of this…baggage that I associate on this stupid day? Celebrate my children, and especially on every other day of the year, teach them that we don’t need stupid holidays to appreciate one another. Tomorrow is never promised, if we feel love and appreciation for someone, we need to tell them NOW and in that moment because we don’t know how long we have to tell them. I’m going to call my natural mother on Sunday and probably sob for an hour into her ear and tell her how much I love her. Then I’m going to feel icky and go to my amoms house for dinner that her and my daughters are cooking for me because something in me fears mothers day and my amothers house now…. even after all these years. Nevertheless i’ll put a smile on my face, push the fear away and go and hope it turns out good like the last few have.

I hope this day is survivable for any readers who are reading this. I think I’ll go escape for the rest of my night into video games lol ( yep…i’m a mom who games 😛 ) guildwars2 BRING IT!

The 5 stages of grief – my adoptee centric version


Kubler-Ross has this hypothesis on the 5 stages of grieving you go through after experiencing a life changing event or loss. You can read a wiki page about it here and you know, if we were in person talking about this, i’d clear my throat, and say this bit a little louder and make sure you heard: “Kübler-Ross noted that these stages are not meant to be a complete list of all possible emotions that could be felt, and, they can occur in any order. Her hypothesis holds that not everyone who experiences a life-threatening/-altering event feels all five of the responses, as reactions to personal losses of any kind are as unique as the person experiencing them.”

So yes I know we go through things differently, we’re human. We’re are not meant to all be the same or else…we’d all be the same lol. But for those who are feeling it, I want you to know you have a right to all of the feelings you’re feeling. Even those of you who are fine and feeling no aftermath of being adopted, you’re just reading for fun, I’m glad you’re fine and if ever you are not fine with what happened, I’m here then too, and you totally have a right to feel that way as well. Like Kubler-Ross says, its a process, we’re all at different stages and all healing differently. What is important imo is that we’re healing, and that we have others who have been there and can offer their shoulders and spines to help you lean on if needed. So here are her stages that she first wrote about in 1969 and that have become pretty accepted, at least in my home 😛

( I edited the following snippet of stages to apply more to loss for the adoptee instead of person facing an illness / death as was written in 1969 in death and dying. She later after more experience with other grievances, applied these stages to all types of grief faced from a tragic experience like the loss of EVERYTHING an infant knows when losing his/her mother. Let alone our heritage, families, identities, and legalities…the original article can be found by clicking the link below 😛

The stages, popularly known by the acronym DABDA, include:

1. Denial — “I feel fine.”; “This can’t be happening, not to me.”
Denial can be conscious or unconscious refusal to accept facts, information, or the reality of the situation. Denial is a defense mechanism and some people can become locked in this stage.

2. Anger — “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; ‘”Who is to blame?”
Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Anger can manifest itself in different ways. People can be angry with themselves, or with others, and especially those who are close to them. It is important to remain detached and nonjudgmental when dealing with a person experiencing anger from grief.

3. Bargaining — “I’ll do anything for some answers.( records? reunion? papers?”; “I will give my life savings if…”
“The personality theory in bargaining emphasizes that the type of personalities determine the bargaining process and its outcome.” from wiki

4. Depression — “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; “Why go on?”
It is an important time for grieving that must be processed. Depression could be referred to as the dress rehearsal for the ‘aftermath’. It is a kind of acceptance with emotional attachment. It’s natural to feel sadness, regret, fear, and uncertainty when going through this stage. Feeling those emotions shows that the person has begun to accept the situation.

5. Acceptance — “It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t change the loss, I may as well… (get involved with activism and change this industry).”
In this last stage, individuals begin to come to terms with their loss. This stage varies according to the person’s situation. We all have our own stages and work through them however our needs demand.

So yes, some people are going to call bullshit on these stages. You can stomp your feet all you want but I went through them, I feel like I’m finally at acceptance too and I’m feeling pretty good about that. Its funny I see myself in all of the stages and a great deal of them were here on this blog and forums oh so long ago. So MAYBE these don’t apply to you, but they apply to me, and I bet there’s a few more of you that could apply these to you too. Reading them gave me ease and relief actually that look, its not some disorder my amother can label me with, its just a grieving process and if you keep making me try and ignore it, you’re only going to fight my healing process and prolong it. GO WITH IT.

Smile upon the depression because look… you’re growing ❤ The thought of this doesn't seem so far fetched to me anymore. Look how beautiful that adoptee anger is. It makes me want to hug it and love it and spin it all around the room because YAY you've finally crossed over and out of the fog of denial and you're growing and healing. HOW CAN THAT NOT BE BEAUTIFUL? I mean I feel so sorry for the next adoptee that I come across who is depressed…I might just give them a million happy faces and tell them I'm so thrilled they're on their way of processing their grief and healing…can you imagine? the reaction lmao. Seriously tho, these stages have become so special to me. I think healing is so beautiful. It reminds me that we really are human, that we really can survive almost ANYTHING, and maybe find a way to unite with the other unfortunate people going through it and help out one another to make the process a little bit easier along the way. There are so many fucking cool adoptees. Not only adoptees will fit into this…donor children / adults too… I wonder if you're out there in full force yet, what have I missed in these years of my absence online hmmm…

When I think of other tragic events, I think of death / dying ( the original blueprint of this theory,) rape, infertility, parents against drunk drivers, ugh parenting in general loll… all of which have major support groups nation and world wide. Crisis numbers you can call just to talk to others who will sponsor you / support you through your struggling times. We adoptees, need more of these communities in our lives where people can't and won't silence your healing process and you're allowed to feel whatever part of the process you are in. Not a place that tells us we should be grateful it happened lol or one that won't even admit or recognize our loss's. Man that's what AAAFC was for me…I wonder if they're still around o.o

We deserve them.

The next person I see silencing an adoptee is so fucked. lmao.